This weekend the Aquarius cinema in Palo Alto is showing the Oscar-nominated short subject films for 2010, along with some “honorable mentions”. We decided to checkout the animated films, and were blown away by the brilliant contenders. The longest film, and the one I expected to enjoy most, is â€œA Matter of Loaf and Deathâ€, the latest Wallace & Gromit creation from Nick Park. Beautifully made, as funny as ever, but perhaps a bit predictable. It was followed by Nicky Phelanâ€™s â€œGranny Oâ€™Grimmâ€™s Sleeping Beautyâ€, a much shorter but hysterically funny piece, which was distinguished by the interleaving of two quite different animation styles. Two other films caught my eye – Javier Recio Graciaâ€™s â€œThe Lady and the Reaperâ€, and Frabrice Joubert’s â€œFrench Roastâ€ – but neither achieved the heights of Nick Park and Nicky Phelan.
Then came the last film – and before it was shown, there was a warning that it contained strong language and violence. A few parents shooed their children out of the theatre. And then it started:
We’re talking about “Logorama” by the H5 Group from France. Energetic, subversive, startling, cynical, politically savvy… It’s just brilliant. Quite apart from anything else, I hope it sets the bar for “fair use” of copyrighted visual material from now on. Every familiar logo in our advertisement-drenched world seems to be skewered.
One reviewer of the 2010 Oscar contenders concluded that:
â€œLogoramaâ€ stands out among this yearâ€™s nominees, but a likely winner is a usual suspect, this yearâ€™s Nick Park concoction.
I hope she’s wrong. I think that it would be a healthy sign if the Oscar went to the most subversive candidate. It’s happened before…
In the meantime, if you get the chance to see these films, carpe diem! (The whole of “Logorama” seems to be online here, but things change….)